Coffins await identification of bodies

Outside the Sanglah morgue in Bali’s capital Denpasar stand scores of makeshift wooden coffins, piled haphazardly on top of each other.

Outside the Sanglah morgue in Bali’s capital Denpasar stand scores of makeshift wooden coffins, piled haphazardly on top of each other.

They sit uneasily beside a large pile of loose ice and four vast refrigerated containers.

Inside these containers are the remains of those who died in the fatal explosions at Sari’s night-club and Paddy’s Bar at the weekend.

At least 181 people are known to have perished - 18 of those British.

Today, as the Red Cross and army workers concentrated on moving the remains from refrigeration to chilled body bags for identification, they were watched by intrigued Indonesians who peered over a high brick wall.

The bodies were discreetly carried in black and yellow bags but such movement could not conceal the smell of death.

Relatives and hospital staff covered their faces with cloths to avoid the odour.

Sanglah has been fiercely criticised by the media for its management of this tragedy - a chronic shortage of refrigeration devices meant bodies were left in situ, exposed to the heat.

The dead have finally been cleared from the hospital’s tiled floors and are now securely hidden behind the morgue’s doors.

But the length of time it took to preserve the bodies may prove crucial.

Of the 181 bodies found, only 40 have been formally identified, a Balinese press spokesman said today.

More in this section

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox